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STORY: E. Region quarterfinal-Gloucester 2, Lake Taylor 0
Coates: Another no-hitter for Dukes
Stephanie Coates pitches Gloucester into the Eastern Region semifinals.
BY DAVE JOHNSON
firstname.lastname@example.org | 247-4649
VIRGINIA BEACH — It was a scorcher at Princess Anne High, just as it always seems to be on Memorial Day. But Gloucester coach Red Lindsay wasn’t about to shed his lucky red jacket.
"You know," he said about 15 minutes before gametime, "that’s not happening."
Yes, Lindsay is a superstitious guy. But as it turns out, his real lucky charm wears No. 9 and throws smoke.
Stephanie Coates, who has almost made no-hitters routine, threw another one Monday afternoon as the Dukes defeated Lake Taylor 2-0 in the Eastern Region quarterfinals. Gloucester (21-2) will face Salem of Virginia Beach on Tuesday night at 7 in the semifinals for a trip to the Group AAA state tournament.
It was the eighth no-hitter of the season and 20th of her career for Coates, who has committed to the University of Virginia. Five of this year’s no-hitters have been perfect games.
She struck out 17, including eight in a row at one point, in leaving the Titans baffled.
"The mound here, the front of it was a little sloped, so I had to work through that," she said. "I was able to get it the way I like it."
Coates allowed only two baserunners, and each time it was leadoff hitter Aja Pleasants. In the fourth inning, Pleasants walked, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch before Coates had gotten anybody out. But Coates struck out the side to end that threat.
Pleasants got on base in the sixth inning when she struck out on a wild pitch, but catcher Lauren Kiser then threw her out trying to steal second.
Fifteen of Coates’ first 18 outs were strikeouts, but she needed her fielders in the seventh inning. Candace Robinson led off with a liner to the gap, but Dukes left fielder Brenna Thomas made a diving catch. Third baseman Ashley Moore then backhanded Jordan McNabb’s grounder at third and threw across the infield for the second out.
Coates ended the game in familiar fashion. Kim Carmichael, the Titans’ cleanup hitter, swung and missed for strike three.
"She was definitely on," Kiser said. "She was hitting her spots, and she was in control."
The Dukes left six runners on base through the first four innings. Moore just missed a home run in the second when her drive to left hit the top of the 10-foot fence and stayed in play for a double.
Gloucester finally broke through in the fifth with some help from the Titans’ fielders. With runners at first and second and two outs, Karli Robb grounded to Kristin Fungo at shortstop. She booted the ball, which loaded the bases.
Kiser then lofted a fly ball to left field, but the ball popped out of McNabb’s glove. Two runs scored, one more than Coates needed.
GLOUCESTER 2, LAKE TAYLOR 0
Lake Taylor 000 000 0 — 0 0 2
Gloucester 000 020 x — 2 7 0
WP—Coates (21-2). LP—Robinson (15-9). Standouts—Gloucester, Bressin 2-3 (run), Moore 2-3 (double). Records—Lake Taylor 15-9, Gloucester 21-2.
Last edited by Sonny Dearth : 05-28-2007 at 06:53 PM.
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